Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Meet Lisanne Kottenhagen of the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company

Lisanne Kottenhagen
Photo Robin DePuy
(c) Dutch National Ballet 2014
Reproduced with kind permission of the Dutch
National Ballet

Lisanne comes from Leiden. She started doing ballet because her friend was taking classes. One day she joined her friend and has never stopped dancing. She danced anytime and everywhere she could. After a couple years her teacher told her parents that she had talent. She auditioned for the National Ballet Academy and was accepted.

Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov inspired her. She has watched a video of their dancing Don Quixote when Sarafanov was at the Mariinsky over 100 times already and never tires of it. “When they are dancing it seems effortless. Then I immediately want to go to the studio and dance.” When I asked her whether she had been inspired by a teacher, she replied: “All the teachers at school have meant a lot for me but especially Joanne Zimmerman. She did her best to get everything out of me and my dancing.”

Like Bart, Lisanne considered her greatest achievement to date is dancing with the Junior Company. At school she danced the role of the waltz girl in Les Sylphides. She has also danced Myrtha in Giselle.
“I really liked doing this part. With the Junior Company we participated with the Swan Lake so I’ve also danced the part of a swan in the corps de ballet. A dream of every girl.” 
I asked her which ballets and roles she wanted to dance. She replied 
“Every role! But I really want to dance the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. This is one of my favourite ballets.” 
She would also love to dance the role of Myrtha with a ballet company.

Lisanne’s favourite dancers are Polina Semionova, Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov and her favourite choreographer is Hans van Manen.

Her immediate ambitions are “continuing to develop myself as a dancers and hopefully dance with the company of the Dutch National Ballet.” She does not really have a plan for the longer term yet but would love to travel and maybe start a cake shop or a bakery. When I asked Lisanne about her interests outside ballet she replied “cooking and baking.” She also likes reading and salsa.

Liasnne has done very well already. She is obviously very able and ambitious and I am sure we shall see a lot of her in future. I can’t wait to see her on stage. I wish her well.

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